Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jessica McKellar receives 2015 Frank Willison Award

Ask any Pythonista to name the best features of Python and they are sure to include its amazing community. For the past 15 years the PSF has recognized this important feature with its Community Service Awards and with a special annual award for outstanding contributions to the Python Community–the Frank Willison Award.
I am extremely happy to report that this year’s Frank Willison Award was presented at OSCON 2015 to Jessica McKellar (see Award Ceremony).
Jessica sharing her knowledge and skills
According to the PSF,
Jessica McKellar has served in many distinguished roles within the Python community: Director, Python Software Foundation; PyCon Diversity Outreach Chair; core organizer of Boston Python, one of Python’s largest user groups; frequent keynote speaker and tutorial presenter; board member of OpenHatch; Boston Python Workshop organizer and evangelist; PSF Fellow; mentor for Outreachy program; core contributor to OpenHatch and Twisted projects. She also has a long history as a Python advocate, as a book author (Twisted Network Programming), training author (Introduction to Python), startup founder, VP of Engineering, and MIT alumna in Computer Science.
Jessica’s tireless dedication to outreach and education created fundamental change in the Python community. In 2011, only 1% of talks given at PyCon were presented by women. Jessica’s outreach efforts included hundreds of individually targeted emails to women in technology, encouraging women to submit talk proposals, and mentoring many through the entire proposal process. In 2014 and 2015, a full 33% of talks at PyCon were given by women.
As a volunteer with genuine commitment to the education and success of others, Jessica spends a significant amount of her time on outreach, encouraging new leaders in the Python community, and sharing how Python education empowers others to change the world. She has touched many Python community members, directly and indirectly, with her grace, intelligence, and humble willingness to listen, collaborate, and celebrate the contributions of others.
The award is a memorial to the legacy of O'Reilly editor-in-chief, Frank Willison, who died in 2001. Author of the column Frankly Speaking, Willison shared his enthusiasm for programming, open-source, and, in particular, Python with his many appreciative readers. His writings and witticisms can be found at O'Reilly Archives and In Memory.
Previous recipients of this prestigious award were: 
  • Barry Warsaw (2014) 
  • Anna Martelli Ravenscroft (2013) 
  • Jesse Noller (2012) 
  • Georg Brandl (2011) 
  • Christian Tismer (2010) 
  • Mark Hammond (2009) 
  • Martin von Löwis (2008) 
  • Steve Holden (2007)  
  • Alex Martelli (2006) 
  • Cameron Laird (2004) 
  • Fredrik Lundh (2003) 
  • Andrew Kuchling (2002)
Please join me in congratulating Jessica McKellar on her well-deserved award and thanking her for her numerous contributions.
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